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55 Candidates With Criminal Records Emerged Victorious Against 'Clean' Nominees in MP Polls: ADR Report

In yet another evidence of growing money clout in politics, out of 187 crorepati candidates, 35 won with runners-up being non-crorepatis, the report noted. Of them, five secured wins by over 20% margin.

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated:January 22, 2019, 6:59 PM IST
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55 Candidates With Criminal Records Emerged Victorious Against 'Clean' Nominees in MP Polls: ADR Report
File photo of voters standing in queue with their identity cards to cast their votes for the Assembly elections, in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. (Image: PTI)
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Bhopal: Attempts to deny entry to those with criminal records into politics seems to have not succeeded completely in the just-concluded Assembly polls, at least in Madhya Pradesh.

According to a report by the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), candidates with criminal records won along with those who declared huge assets in their poll affidavits.

The ADR report has claimed that out of 94 such candidates who were in the MP poll fray, 55 emerged victorious and that too against runners-up who had a ‘clean’ background.

The ‘tainted’ aspirants not only won but 10 of them managed victories by a margin of over 20% votes. The margin was the maximum for Congress’ Imarti Devi, who won from the Dabra in Gwalior with a 38% margin.

Devi, 43, has been appointed the women and child development minister in the Kamal Nath government.

According to the election affidavit filed by Devi while filing nomination papers, a case under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act was filed against her in November 2016, though she managed to secure a stay order from the high court in the case the very next month.

The report, however, hailed the Election Commission’s endeavours to rid politics of those with criminal background as 50 candidates with a clean image defeated those with criminal records and eight of these winners secured wins with a margin of 20% or more.

In yet another evidence of growing money clout in politics, out of 187 crorepati candidates, 35 won with runners-up being non-crorepatis, the report noted. Of them, five secured wins by over 20% margin.

Meanwhile, 30 non-crorepati contenders won against crorepati opponents, but only a solitary candidate managed to win by over 20% margin. In a landmark verdict delivered in September last year, the Supreme Court had observed that nothing should come in the way of a voter’s right to know a candidate’s criminal records.

Additionally, both the candidate and parties were mandated to publish this information in leading newspapers and TV platforms at least thrice, post filing of nomination papers. The chief electoral officer had conveyed the verdict to the candidates concerned accordingly.

Besides, the then chief election commissioner, OP Rawat, had expressed concern over growing use of cash, liquor and other items in campaigning as seizures of freebies worth Rs 51 crore were reported even a fortnight before the day of voting (Nov 28). “We made seizures of Rs 51 crore and still 12 days are left for campaigning to end and it’s a disturbing trend for democracy,” Rawat had said in Bhopal.

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| Edited by: Debdeep Mukherjee
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